Gaslight: 4 Signs You Have Experienced Gaslighting


Gaslight: 4 Signs You Have Experienced Gaslighting

Written By: Navienisha Muniandy (Intern)

Verified By: Kelly Chan Jia Li, Clinical Psychologist (MAHPC(CP)00353)

Ever felt your reality being shaken?

Is whatever I'm feeling valid or am I overthinking as they told me?

Maybe I should have been more understanding to avoid that conflict.

Ever had these thoughts lingering in your mind?

These can be signs that you may have been gaslighted.

Understanding Gaslighting

Gaslight is a form of psychological manipulation whereby someone tries to plant seeds of doubt within you, often making you doubt your memories, thought processes, or sanity. This manipulation is used to gain control over you, which often leaves you feeling confused, isolated, and questioning your reality. Gaslighting shapes in different forms, which include rejecting facts, altering information, or using selective exclusion. Hence, identifying and confronting gaslighting behaviour is essential in maintaining your emotional and mental well-being.


4 Signs You Have Experienced Gaslighting

1.0 Frequent Apologies

"I am sorry, I won't do it again", "I am sorry for hurting you".

Do you often find yourself frequently apologizing for things that aren't your fault, or for expressing your desires or thoughts? This may be an indicator if you experience gaslighting. Gaslighters frequently influence you into feeling responsible for their actions or feelings, causing you to apologize unnecessarily to keep the peace or prevent disagreement. They would make you believe that your actions led them to distance. They would expect you to apologize to mend the cracks.

2.0 Questioning Reality

"You're overreacting," "That never happened," "You're imagining things".

One of the hallmark signs of gaslighting is the inconsistent and contradictory reality. Gaslighting often begins subtly, with the gaslighter questioning your perceptions or memories. Gaslighters may provide conflicting information or deny previous statements and actions, leaving you in a perpetual state of confusion. They might also dismiss your feelings or experiences, making you doubt your reality. It pushes you into a loop of confusion.

3.0 Self-Blaming

"Maybe it is my fault", "I wouldn't be left if I was more understanding".

Gaslighters generally shift blame onto other people, causing them to feel responsible for the gaslighter's behavior or feelings. In that case, you may also voluntarily take the blame to avoid further conflicts and begin to feel that something may be wrong from your side. This absorbed blame and accusations may gradually turn into a self-blaming habit. You can be very harsh and self-critical on yourself over time. These might trigger emotions of guilt, humiliation, and low confidence in yourself.

4.0 Constant Self-Doubt

"Am I overreacting?", "Maybe I should have been more patient".

Gaslighting often starts with the slow erosion of your confidence and self-esteem. Imagine constantly being blamed for the slightest inconvenience; it makes you lose self-confidence. You may not feel connected to yourself or others anymore. Even people or the slightest conflict can make you feel anxious or drained.

4 Tips To Avoid Being Gaslighted
1.0 Believe Your Instincts

If you sense something is not sitting well or taking up your energy in your relationship, try not to disregard your emotions. Connect inwardly with your instinct to gain better clarity. You can also express yourself to your loved ones or a Therapist to gain additional insights.

2.0 Set boundaries

Explain your limits and expectations in relationships. Be courageous and not afraid of setting boundaries, be it in work, or relationships. Surround yourself with those who respect and support your personal space.

3.0 Seeking Support

If you have experienced gaslighting or other kinds of manipulation, seek help from friends, family, or a therapist. Develop a support system that can a sense of encouragement and insight to break free from experiencing gaslighting.

4.0 Practice self-care

Take good care of your emotional and mental well-being by engaging in relaxing and enjoyable activities. Practice self-compassion and remind yourself of the values you hold on to. It would prevent you from questioning yourself or your reality.

Our Takeaway

Gaslighting, a subtle form of manipulation, may result in severe and long-lasting damage. Recognizing the signs of gaslighting is essential to protect yourself from manipulation and maintain healthy relationships. If you find yourself doubting your reality, feeling confused, constantly apologizing, and second-guessing yourself, it's crucial to seek support and establish boundaries in the relationship. Remember, you deserve to be treated with respect and dignity, and no one has the right to undermine your sense of self-worth.

If you are experiencing gaslighting, we suggest consulting a Therapist to work further on it.

Looking for a Therapist in Kota Damansara or the Ipoh area? You can click HERE for more information.

Finding this blog helpful? Broaden the horizon of your knowledge by learning about "Why Mental Health Must Be Prioritized?".
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